Learn about how child custody or parenting time is decided

Find out what the court takes into consideration when making a child custody or parenting time decision.

Table of Contents

What the court considers

The court will always consider what is in the best interest of the child to make its child custody decision. Some important things that the court will consider are:

  • The child's well-being
  • How the child is doing in school and the community
  • The child’s relationship with the parents and other family members
  • The parents’ history of abuse, drug use, or abandonment
  • Whether one parent has been the primary caregiver in the past
  • Depending on the age and maturity of the child, the child’s preference, although this is never the deciding factor


Help Us Improve Mass.gov with your feedback